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Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, discoursing on the doctrine of the Trinity, observed that there was an unity in the Trinity, Arius, thinking that Alexander meant to inculcate the doctrine of Sabellius, maintained opinions the most opposite to that doctrine; and, as Alexander says, in his Letter to the Bishops, endeavoured to subvert the divinity of the iVord. The Emperor Constantine, hearing of this dissension, wrote to Alexander and Arius : “ I am informed that the origin of the present controversy was this :-when you, O Alexander, inquired of your presbyters, what each of them thought of a certain passage of scripture-inèp TiVOG TÙY έν νόμω γεγραμμένων.” It will be evident that there is only one passage of scripture (1 John v. 7.) which corresponds with these several particulars. I conclude that the verse was in the Greek text of the fourth century.'--(pp. 86–89.)
Let examine all the facts here alluded to. Socrates says that Alexander' was ostentatiously discoursing on the Trinity, showing philosophically that there was an unity in the Trinity ($120Tipótegov περί της αγίας τριάδος, έν τριάδι μονάδα είναι φιλοσοφών, έθεολόγει): when Arius, a man not unversed in dialectics, thus opposed him“ If the Father begot the Son, he who was begotten had a beginning of existence; and there was a time when the Son was not. Alexander, in his Letter to the Bishops, describes the nature of the dispute in similar terms. He adduces the beginning of St. John's Gospel and many other texts, in confutation of his opponents; but Bishop Burgess, overlooking all these texts, fixes upon 1 John v: 7. to which there is not the most distant allusion. Constantine, in an admirable letter to the tiro disputants, condemns the rashness of both parties, in dwelling upon subtle disfinctions in matters beyond man's intelligence. His entire charge against Alexander stands thus: · You, Alexander, inquired of your presbyters what each of them thought of a certain topic derived from things written in scripture, or rather of a part of a certain foolish question (υπέρ τινος τόπου των εν τω νόμω γεγραμμένων, μάλλον δε υπέρ τινος ματαίου ζητήματος μέρους)' Such is the real state of tlie case. Now, is it possible to believe that Constantine would have spoken of a text of scripture as a foolish question? The truth is, that the dispute arose from the refined dialectics of Alexander, and had no connection with the verse in question.
(2) Respecting the Greek MS. exhibiting the verse, Bishop Burgess thus writes:
• Having heard it reported that a Greek MS. of the New Testament, containing the verse, bad been known to be extant in the library of Lincoln College, not many years since, and that the rector of Lincoln had spoken of it in St. Mary's pulpit, I wrote to the learned rector on the subject, and received the following answer : “ Porson's book never shook my conviction of tbe authenticity of the important verse, which has so long and laudably engaged your indefatigable study. The artful and
superficial way in which he treated the interesting subject, and bis un- maoverly behaviour to Mr. Travis, brought me soine years ago iirto St. Mary's pulpit, with a sermon on the disputed text; which sermon I mislaid, and cannot find. What I said about the MS. that I bad seen,
which coutained the verse, I cannot accurately state. It was a MS. in the college library, and seen in the presence of Dr. Parsons, late Bishop of Peterborougb; but on looking for it when I preached the sermon, it was not found, nor can it be found at the present time.”..
With great respect for the learned Rector, we say again-segnius irritant animos demissa per aures, &c. The MS. itself will, when produced, have much greater effect than this narrative. But we confess that it strikes us as very singular that the excellent prelate alluded to, than whom no one was better able to appreciate, or more alive to the value of such a document, did not make the fact known, and place the existence of the evidence beyond the reach of scepticism.
(3) We now state the Bishop's argument from the Symbolum Antiochenum.
• After the declaration of faith είς ένα Θεόν,-είς ένα Κύριον, Ιησούν Χριστόν,-and εις το Πνεύμα το άγιον, the Creed adds ως είναι τη μεν υποστάσει τρία, τη δε συμφωνία έν, so that they are three in person, and one in consent," or (without the explanatory terms by which the quotation is disguised) ώς είναι τρία έν or τα τρία έν, so that the three are one.' (p. 8.) . The whole creed is declared, in its commencement and conclusion, to be from scripture, and from scripture only; and that not by a general conformity with scripture, but every article of it is professed to be from scripture.'* (p. 13.) “I conclude that the passage (wg civai Tpía ēv or rà tpia čv) is from the final clause of 1 John v. 7. because there is no other passage of scripture in which it is said of the Father, the Son (the Word ? Rev.) and the Holy Spirit, that the three are one.' (p. 15.)
In justice to the cause which the bishop defends, we think it right to state that his lordship having communicated the substance of his work to several of his right reverend brethren, the preceding argument appears to have had great weight with them. In letters from which we are favoured with extracts, the Bishops of Winchester, Durham and Hereford, together with other prelates, whose names are not mentioned, have expressed themselves
The last part of the learned prelate's Appendix is designed to establish tije truth of this statement; and is entitled A Cornparison of every Article of the Symbolum Antiochenum with corresponding Passages of Scripture.' We will submit two instances to the reader's attention, in the hope that he may discern the correspondence: we must confess our own inability to do it. τέλειον εκ τελείου. Ηeb. i. 10. συ κατ' αρχάς, Κύριε, την γήν έθεμελίωσας, και έργα των
χειρών σου εισίν οι ουρανοί. . βασιλέα εκ βασιλέως. Αpoc. xvii. 14. ούτοι μετά το αρνίου πολεμήσουσι, και το αρνίον νικήσει αυτούς, ότι κύριος Κυρίων εστι και βασιλεύς βασιλέων.
either as almost, or as entirely, persuaded that the verse is genuine.
and one in consent. Let us therefore refer to the creed itself, as it appears in the translation given by his lordship.
We believe in one God ......and in one Lord, Jesus Christ.... and in the Holy Ghost, who is given to believers, for consolation and sanctification and perfection, according to our Lord Jesus Christ's direction to his disciples, saying, Go ye unto all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the Father being truly a Father, the Son truly a Son, and the Holy Ghost truly a Holy Ghost; the names being given not vainly and unmeaningly, but accurately expressing the respective subsistence (or person, UTÓ TAO.) order and glory of each of those named (Tôv ovojašouévwv).; SO THAT they are three in subsistence (or person, únoorágei) and one in consent.' -(p. 104.)
And thus it is as clear as words can make it, that the expression, They are three in subsistence (or person), and one in consent, is not a quotation of 1 John v. 7; but is derived, solely and entirely, * from the baptismal commission in St. Matthew. We have seen many weak arguments in defence of the verse, but we trust his lordship will excuse us if we frankly say, that an argument less effective than this it has never been our lot to meet with.
We must now pay our respects in a very few words to the au• A similar remark applies to an argument founded by Ben David upon a passage in Tertullian's Tract de Baptismo, c. 6; where the reference is evidently to Mait. xxviii. 19. and to Deuteron. xix. 13. We regret that the length 10 wbich our observations have been extended will not allow us to examine the passage from Tertullian's Tract against Praxcas, of which Ben David has most strangely mistaken the meaning.
thor of · Three Letters to the Editor of the Quarterly Review.? If BEN DAVID will consider all that we have already written, he will hardly expect that we should minutely examine his work; grateful although we are for his liberal and, we trust, sincere praise of our former labours. Ben David has attempted, after a fashion of his own, to demonstrate the genuineness of 1 John v. 7. He is a Socinian; and he endeavours to persuade the world that this verse affords the best proof in support of his peculiar opinions. The world, we believe, will conclude that he has ventured far into the region of paradox. He has informed us what, in his judgment, is the scope of St. John's first epistle, as well as of the disputed verse. He also states what he conceives to have been the fate of the verse, and predicts the consequences which will result from a ' demonstration of its genuineness.'
(1) The scope of the epistle:--It was written in opposition to the heresy of the Gnostics; and its object is to set aside the divinity of Christ, as an artifice to undermine the gospel.' (p. 11.)
(9) The scope of the verse :
• There are three bearing testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit ; and these three are one : that is, oi tpɛis ēv paprúprov zion. The meaning tben is, that the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, which are in heaven, bear testimony; and these three testimonies are one testimony. The testimony meant is that which it is the burden, of the epistle to prove ; namely, that Jesus is the Christ : meaning, in opposition to the Antichristian teachers, that the man Jesus, and not a God dwelling in the man Jesus, is the Christ.'— (p. 12.)
(3) The fate of the verse :
' It descended from the old Italic version from the days of the apostles to the age of Jerome. But the copies wbich contained it were confined to confidential friends, or to the more trusty fathers of the church; while it was carefully excluded from those which were designed for general use. This precaution was naturally suggested by the dangers which on all sides had hitherto encompassed the text. But these dangers were in a great degree surmounted by the triumphs of orthodoxy. At length Pope Damasus thought it safe to restore the verse in the public version, and engaged Jerome to revise it, partly with a view to that purpose. Before the end was accomplished, Damasus died, and Jerome found protection in Eustochium, a lady of learning, influence and reputation, who had earnestly solicited him to restore the genuine text.'-(pp. 53, 54.)
(4) The consequences of the genuineness of the text:
• The orthodox faith will receive a shock which shall sbatter its very foundations, and bring it, at no distant period, completely to the ground. --(p.3.)
Of the three first of these positions we will say nothing, for ins deed we can scarcely help suspecting that Ben David is indulging a grave smile at the excellent prelate with whom we have just G4
parted, and at many other serious defenders of the verse. The commission of the copies which contained it to confidential friends and the more trusty fathers of the church may indeed well
with the reasons commonly assigned as sufficient to account for its nonappearance in the early Greek MSS. Of Ben David's last position, we will only say, that it fills us with no dread—the orthodox faith does not rest upon a spurious or a disputed verse; it is built, and well built, upon the genuine word of God; and thus secured, it will endure for ever.
Art. IV.- The Mission to Sinm, and Ilué, the Capital of Cochin
China, in the Years 1821, 2, from the Journal of the late George Finlayson, Esq. Surgeon and Naturalist to the Mission; with a Memoir of the Author by Sir Thomas Stamford
Raffles, Bt. F.R.S. London. 1825. THE
HE descriptions of Siam and its inhabitants given by La
Loubère, Tachart, and Choisy, in the reign of Louis XIV., when that monarch sent Le Chevalier de Chaumont and others on an embassy thither, gave a temporary celebrity to this small and obscure nation; which, however, died away, as soon as it was found, in subsequent visits, that the extravagant praises and exaggerated descriptions of these Jesuits were unworthy of credit. It required not much sagacity in those whose object was gain, to discover that the elements of commerce were too ill understood by the ruling powers, and the resources of the country too insignificant, to afford any scope for European adventure in that way. Indeed it might have been known beforehand, that the Jesuits, advisedly as it would seem, were in the habit of extolling the virtues and magnifying the resources of all the Ultra-Gangetic pations, and, most of all, those of the Chinese whose paternal government, literary acquirements, mental accomplishments, and moral qualities were held up by them as examples for the rest of the world.
At the time of the French embassy abovementioned, the English, Dutch, French, and Portugueze had all of them attempted to establish a commercial intercourse with Siam and Cochin China; but the restrictions under which alone they were allowed to trade, and the exactions to which they were made liable, rendered the commerce with those countries unworthy of being followed up, and it was dropped altogether by England.
Mr. Crawford, however, appears to have thought that the commerce of the Ultra-Gangetic nations might be renewed with advantage from Bengal; and with this view he prevailed on the Marquess of Hastings, then Governor-General, to send him on a